From: "Ferm, Barret" <fermbarreta**At_Symbol_Here**SAU.EDU>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Microbiology lab safety: faculty:student ratio
Date: September 26, 2012 5:36:34 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <CAHoE6jryB0Le9HPd18q=7c5SBYOs4tYUqvRw69jaursJZ5DVpw**At_Symbol_Here**>

Dear Lab Safety Professionals,

I have been asked if there are well established guidelines (read: defensible) for limits of student: instructor ratios, or other specific data, reasoning, etc., regarding introductory microbiology laboratory (where only BSL/RG 1 organisms are used).
Currently, the micro labs are capped at 12 students. There is one instructor (no TA), and every student works with his/her own Bunsen burner.. The lab has seats for 24 students (the lab is multi-purpose). An administrator wants to double class size to 24, but the biology faculty feel doing so will compromise the learning environment, quite possible from a safety perspective.
Are there any persuasive arguments against a 24:1 student:instructor ratio in microbiology in particular? They are dealing with an administrator, so the only picture said administrator can see thus far is 12 micro students occupying a space that can hold 24 general biology students. The adage that fewer is better is non-specific. Please advise if you know of guidelines pertaining to micro or similar settings. Thanks!

Barry Ferm

"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." - Lao Tzu

On Sat, Sep 22, 2012 at 1:46 PM, Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
Someone pointed out to me yesterday that there is a free App in the iTunes store called Green Solvents, which provides a reference card for chemical solvents, with data regarding their "greenness": safety, health and environmental effects. I thought that members of the list would be interested in knowing about this.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
American Chemical Society

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